Five years of saving lives

STOWMARKET: A team of “dedicated and compassionate” community first responders is set to celebrate its fifth birthday.

The Stowmarket Community First Responders group is preparing to toast five years of providing emergency life-saving treatment to residents of the town and the surrounding parishes.

The group, a handful of committed residents who have basic life support and defibrillation training, has been on stand-by around the clock, ready to react to a call from the East of England Ambulance Trust.

The responders administer life-saving treatment while an ambulance is on route, giving casualties as much chance of survival as possible.

Co-ordinator Steve Mayhew said the normal membership of the group was just seven and they responded to an average of 34 calls every month.He said: “Within that, they have attended cardiac arrests, heart attacks, strokes and severe asthma attacks to list but a few. Out of these calls I am exceptionally proud to say that six members of the public were successfully resuscitated and were taken to hospital with a recordable pulse.

“It is impossible to say how many members of the public have been attended and that intervention has prevented the condition worsening, or possibly even going into cardiac arrest.”

The Stowmarket Community First Responders, as like all other responder groups, are completely self-funded and without the support of several groups, organisations and members of the public, would have never have got off the ground.

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Anyone interested in joining the group can call Mr Mayhew on 01449 737618 or 07810 113298 or send an e-mail to for more details.